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United States Coast Line

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Half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coastline. The assault on our oceans begins on these shores. There, coastal development, pollution, and erosion are destroying or damaging coastal estuaries, wetlands, and bays that feed the oceans.

NPR's John Burnett takes listeners to one of the areas damaged by pollution. On this journey to the Gulf of Mexico coastline, you'll hear about some of the most trash-strewn beaches in the world. As the story unfolds, you'll discover that human interaction and coastal development adversely affect biodiversity in the oceans.

Return to  Oceans of Life

During the Center for Marine Conservation's 1994 Clean-Up project, 2,820,789 lbs. of trash were collected on U.S. beaches.

Photo courtesy of the Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, D.C.

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